Advice From a 105 Year Old Me

I gave advice to a teenage version of me before but imagining how I’ll feel in the future in order to give my present self advice? That’s absurd… so here I go.

As you can imagine, at 105 things have slowed down a bit. The excess has melted away from my life and now I am truly focused on the important things, namely staying alive. But in the proximity to death, the value of every moment has to increase. Statistically, there are so few moments left for me. I wouldn’t want to waste them trying to find the newest way to get off (and that doesn’t mean sexually).

At 105, I would probably say you should narrow your focus, to spend time with those you love and value that time more than anything. I already know you don’t care much for novelty, so I won’t need to tell you not to bother with the flashy nonsense. I am, however, conflicted. Family and friends are the most important thing to me, but my mind is slowing, my abilities are physically limited, and my accomplishments won’t blow many minds at this point. What’s important to me, at 105, shouldn’t necessarily be what’s important to you. You have energy and anger. And you should. Ideas should turn you on. You should want. You don’t get to let being tired hold you back. It’s so rewarding to be tired with good reason.

I guess my only advice is pretty pathetic. It’s to find a nice balance between your selfish, intellectual pursuits and your loved ones, and don’t be afraid of your changing feelings. Never, never close your mind. Never narrow your focus or you’ll put yourself in a closed loop, reinforcing the ideas you already have and never learning. Everything matters. Care about injustice until you aren’t able to care anymore. As Vonnegut said, be kind. Care about truth. Care about reality. Do not delude yourself into satisfaction. You know what has meaning. It may change shapes, but keep following it until you can’t walk. Then try rolling after it as long as you can move your arms. When you stop moving, you might as well be dead.

 

I didn’t think this out beforehand, and I’m 105 years old, so this may all be nonsense. There’s a good lesson for you. Don’t believe something without good reason. Even you’ll be wrong most the time.

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Advice From a 105 Year Old Me

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